How to Make a Ponytail & Wrap Hair Around it

By Kathryn Walsh

The party starts in five minutes, but your hair still looks like you're headed for yoga class. It's time for some ponytail magic. Just as heels dress up a casual outfit, a hair wrap dresses up a casual ponytail. The simple act of wrapping hair around the base of the ponytail makes this hairstyle look polished. Best of all, even women who missed out on the hairstyling gene can manage this quick and easy trick.

Girl looking in the mirror while making ponytail
credit: Sjale/iStock/GettyImages
How to Make a Ponytail & Wrap Hair Around it

Prepping the Pony

It doesn't matter how cute the hair-wrapped base of a ponytail is if the rest of the pony is a mess. Get that ponytail perfect before even thinking about wrapping it.

First, find a hair elastic that matches the hair color. If any of the elastic peeks through the wrap, it won't be obvious as long as the elastic is camouflaged. Make sure it's the right size to hold the ponytail securely. If it's too small to go around the ponytail three times but feels loose with two twists, for example, the hairstyle won't work.

Once the ponytail is done, using styling tools and products may ruin the look. Style the hair first, whether that means creating ringlets with a curling iron, flat-ironing it straight or working in an anti-frizz product.

Any type of ponytail works with this technique, as long as the hair is long enough. Make a low pony and pull some tendrils loose at the front for a romantic, relaxed look, or use a paddle brush and gel to create a perfectly smooth high ponytail. Whatever feels comfortable is fine.

Wrapping the Hair

Once the ponytail is secure, grab a small section of hair from the underside. How big the section needs to be depends on the thickness of your hair. Aim for a section that makes up not more than about 20 percent of the ponytail. If hair is already fine, taking too much for the wrap leaves the ponytail looking feeble.

Rub the section of hair between your fingers to flatten it out a bit. That will help get maximum coverage of the elastic. Tightly wrap the section of hair around the elastic, leaving a one- to two-inch tail unwrapped at the underside of the elastic. Hold the tail with one hand and use the other hand to gently pull down the elastic to create an opening. Push the tail through and release the elastic.

Locking the Wrap in Place

Pushing the tail of the wrapped section through the elastic may not be enough to keep the hair in place, especially if it's slippery. If the hair wrap doesn't seem secure, grab a bobby pin that matches your hair color. Bend it so it's slightly open and slide it through the elastic so it's holding the tail section in place. If that still doesn't work, release the hair wrap and start it again.

A clear hair elastic can also help hold the hair wrap in place. Carefully slide the elastic over the place where the end of the hair-wrapped section meets the top of the ponytail. Adjust the underside so the clear elastic is holding the tail in place.

Once everything looks right and feels secure, spray all sides of the hair-wrapped section with non-aerosol hairspray. Concerned about the chemicals in hairspray? Try making a homemade batch using alcohol for hold and essential oils or lemons for smell.